Social change is a constant and complex phenomenon. It requires slow, gradual and long term process through a strong policy framework because it involves changes in traditions, customs, folkways and socio-cultural patterns. The key challenges confronting the country are many and varied, poverty, ignorance, ill health, mal-nutrition, drug addiction and economic imbalance besides luring focus i.e. aberration from the right path of Deen. Social Welfare is concerned with the well being and up lift of he community at large and the vulnerable groups in particular. Focus of programmes will be for the neglected, disadvantaged, under privileged and exploited section of our society, i.e. the Children, Women particularly the destitute, Aged, Disabled, Indigent, Beggars, Drug Addicts etc.
Social Welfare is a vital sector of the National Development. It motivates voluntary efforts on the basis of self-help and mobilization of both human and material resources to supplement Government's efforts and accelerate development process. It has two-fold approach i.e. Public Sector Development and Voluntary Sector Program. Welfare activities are much needed in poor communities and neglected segments of our society where financial and technical resources are limited. The programmes of social welfare & community development undertaken by the Department of Social Welfare aim at eradicating social evils , from the society, rehabilitation of the disabled and the handicapped, formulation of schemes / programmes directed towards meeting social needs, mitigating sufferings and bringing about cultural and psychological changes and systematic / uniformed socio-economic growth to ensure poverty alleviation.
The Social Welfare activities in the past were mainly undertaken by individual social workers, philanthropists, and Voluntary Organizations. The Social Welfare Programme as an organized activity was brought under public sector in 1961
i.e during one unit. During that period, one Social Welfare Officer with nominal staff and budget was functioning at Peshawar . After the dismemberment, of one unit a skeletal staff consisting of one Assistant Director (B-17), one field officer (B-16) and one Supervisor was allocated to NWFP. The activities of the Department in the field were limited as it had only 4 Urban Community Development (UCD) and 4 Rural Community Development (RCD) projects with a total annual budget of Rs. 0.383 million. A full-fledged Directorate was created when a post of Director Social Welfare (B-18) alongwith staff was sanctioned in 1976-77. The Directorate remained attached with various Administrative Departments like Local Government and Health and lastly it was placed under the control of Secretary, Zakat, Ushr & Social Welfare Department w.e.f. November, 1992.
The Govt. of Pakistan took over the devolution plan on 12th October, 1999 to decentralized / devolved its administrative / financial entities down to the District level, thus facilitating the people to solve their problems within their own district level.
It was necessary to enhance departmental set up to new districts. The UCD / RCD projects which were unable to cover the needs of the whole province were converted to District Offices, deputed by Social Welfare Officers as District Officers (Social Welfare & Community Development) in all the 24 districts of the province.
Social Welfare services have been posted to rest of the 7 districts ( Shangla, Upper Dir , Kohistan, Hangu, Tank and Batagram) of the province where District Offices have been established for the purpose under the Devolution plan.
To streamline / coordinate activities pertaining to women & children, Women Development Wing of Population Welfare Department was detached and attached with Social Welfare Department in December, 2001.